Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
IRVING W. MATTHEWS is the owner of
the Douglas County Abstract Company and operates the same. He is
one of the leading business men in Waterville, and has wrought very faithfully
here for a good many years, having both the approbation of the citizens
and the good will and esteem of all who know him.
Irving W. Matthews was born in Sun Prairie,
Wisconsin, on August 15, 1857. His father, Caleb W. Matthews, was
born in Vermont, in 1816 and was a minister of the Congregational church.
His father, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Royalston,
Massachusetts, while the wife of that venerable patriot was a native of
Vermont, coming from a prominent New England family. Our subject's
father married Susan Knight, a native of Maine. The Knight family
was one of the stirring and patriotic families who had fought for American
independence. The grandfather of Mrs. Matthews served in the Revolutionary
war, with distinction and the family were able participants in every struggle
of the colonies since the settlement of this country. Our subject's
father died in 1895 and his widow now lives in Bay Center, Washington.
Irving W. passed through the common, graded
and high schools, receiving his diploma from the state university at Minneapolis,
in 1884. When sixteen, he came with the family from Wisconsin to
Minnesota. After his graduation having completed a thorough civil
engineering course, he took up that business with the railroad, being assistant
in various lines and about 1886 went to Broken Bow, Nebraska, where he
followed his profession for four years. In the spring of 1890, he
located at Waterville and in partnership with a man, organized the Douglas
County Title and Abstract Company, doing therewith a real estate and insurance
business. Two years after, Mr. Matthews bought out his partner and
continued the business until 1890, when owing to the heavy increase of
transfers, he was obliged to drop the real estate and insurance business
and give his entire attention to the abstract work. Mr. Matthews
has the only set of complete abstract and transcript books in the county
and is now doing a very large business. Mr. Matthews is a Republican
and has been very active in this realm ever since coming west. He
has been to the county and state conventions and in the fall of 1894 was
installed chairman of the county central committee. Two years later
in the same capacity, he was not so fortunate. He has been justice
of the peace and is now school director. Fraternally, our subject
is affiliated with the A. F. & A. M., and the K. of P.
On March 4, 1886, at Clymer, New York, Mr.
Matthews married Miss Arabella Carpenter, a native of Jamestown, New York.
Her father, Warren C. was a native of Vermont and his ancestors came from
Ireland prior to the Revolution. The Carpenter family was allied
with the colonists in all their struggles for independence. Mr. Carpenter
married Miss Eliza Berbert, and they have two children, Mrs. Matthews and
Willis. To Mr. and Mrs. Matthews, four children have been born, Willis
G., Edith E., Minnie L. and Dorothy H.